Their Beautiful Game

We all know someone who plays football (soccer). Whether it’s a Saturday morning activity to keep the kids moving and socialising or more competitively in the higher grades – most of us know someone close who plays the game. Now take a moment to think about how quickly young feet grow… this usually means a new pair of boots every year to accommodate those growing feet. A lot of times the boots are in near new condition, having only hit the field once a week for a season. What becomes of the unwanted boots each year?

Their Beautiful Game is a Not-for-profit organisation that supports football programs for those living in hardship. Organising collections of near new boots, goalie gloves, balls and other essential equipment, their work focuses on providing underprivileged and marginalised communities with access to the things they need to be able to enjoy football.

First established in 2009, the idea for Their Beautiful Game was developed by Dave Oswell, a teacher from The Scots College, who travelled to Ghana teaching football at schools and clubs. On his return to Australia, Dave realised that a lot more could be done to assist schools and clubs in impoverished areas and help give them a focus outside of their disadvantaged situations. From here the foundations of Their Beautiful Game started.

Since 2009, thousands of boots, hundreds of balls, dozens of team kits and stacks of training equipment has been collected and donated to Indigenous communities in remote parts of Australia, as well as to homeless and refugee football teams in urban Sydney, along with supporting footballers as far afield as the favelas of Brazil, India, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Kenya, Cambodia and Thailand.

This remarkable organisation provides access to sport and creates a platform upon which to alleviate the effects of poverty, helping to ensure that everyone – regardless of sex, ethnicity or ability – enjoys and benefits from their right to play!

The idea and method of donation is simple; we all have soccer boots or sneakers that we no longer require, (probably sitting at the back of your garage or wardrobe somewhere!) By donating these items to Their Beautiful Game you open up the opportunity for people in remote impoverished areas to utilise this equipment and play sport. Their Beautiful Game also collects monetary donations to help support the logistical costs of collection, shipping and transportation – This can be done directly via their website.

Always on the lookout for charities and organisations that need support, the staff at Turramurra and Lindfield Community Bank branches have swung into action, calling upon their relationships with local football clubs and their resources within the branch to organise a donation drive for Their Beautiful Game.  Not only will the Turramurra and Lindfield Community Bank branches be collecting on behalf of Their Beautiful Game, they will fund the transport and distribution to ensure the equipment finds the right home and helps a community in need.

“Sponsorship from organisations such as Bendigo Bank plays an integral role in helping us achieve our objectives – ensuring that we can get the equipment we collect to the communities who need them and put them to good use in their football programs.” – David Oswell, Founder Their Beautiful Game                                                                           

Donation Drive details: Bring your near new boots, goalie gloves or balls to either Turramurra or Lindfield branch and leave in the collection bin provided. You can also leave your donations at any of the following participating community football clubs: West Pymble Football Club, Kissing Point Football Club, St Ives Football Club, Lindfield Football Club, Turramurra United Football Club.

Donations open until April 30.